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Student in the Spotlight: Annie Dori

By Annie Dori, 2021 graduate of the Honours B.A. in Human Relations and Spirituality

For the past 25 years, I have been a military wife and have been posted to different cities across Canada — from Victoria, B.C. to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Throughout this time, I have met many people, and have seen and heard many stories of military members who were and are struggling with PTSD, stress and anxiety.

When we were posted to Ottawa in 2016, I had medical issues which prevented me from continuing with my career in early childhood education. Since my youngest child was going to Junior Kindergarten the next year, I decided to take the opportunity to return to school and change my career. I did not know how it would be as I have learning disabilities, but through the University of Ottawa, I was able to get accommodations to help me in my learning.

I have always loved to listen to people and help them. I found a program at Saint Paul University in Human Relations and Spirituality that would allow me to do therapy with military members and their families. This way I could give back to the military community who have helped me grow throughout these years.

As a mother of six children, it was not always easy to be a full-time student. I had to be very organized and plan ahead for meals, chores, the children’s activities and their school work. I also made it a habit to do my school work as soon as I received it and not wait until the last minute. All this made a very big difference.

One big challenge that came along during my second year in my Honours B.A. was when my husband was deployed for six months on a ship with the Canadian military. Not only did I have my full-time school to worry about but I also had a household and my children to take care of. With the help of my previously established routine and the cooperation of my children, we all got through this challenge.

At SPU, I was able to meet wonderful like-minded students who have become very good friends. The teachers are great to work with and understanding. They are also very passionate about what they are teaching. Being in a small class made me feel like a person and not a number.

Now that I have finished my Honours B.A. in Human Relations and Spirituality, and a micro certificate in Safeguarding Minors and Vulnerable Persons, I have been accepted for the Master’s in Counselling and Psychotherapy. I am glad to tell my children and others who are not sure if they should pursue their studies: “If I can do it, anyone can!”

I am grateful and thank my husband, children, friends and family for all their encouragement and support in this journey.

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